Essay on All the Struggle

Submitted By cwg789
Words: 497
Pages: 2

“Art game” is a relatively recent coinage that can refer to a very artistic video game — Flower, for example. But it’s also the title of indie developer Pippin Barr’s latest creation, which takes its name extremely literally. Barr has turned the art world into a video game.

The MoMA curator, selecting Tetranov’s work
His monochromatic, eight-bit game is a part-sincere, part-satirical take on what it’s like to be an artist working at the highest levels of New York City’s visual art scene. Players choose between three protagonists for their avatar: Cicero Sassoon is “one of the most famous minimalist painters working today,” the Russian Alexandra Tertanov is an “unstoppable force in the world of sculpture,” and the ambiguously related duo William Edge and Susan Needle create video work. Your job, should you choose to take it on, is to help one of these artists make their work, pass it by a curator, and participate in a group show at the Museum of Modern Art.

Your enemy in this micro art world, if there is an enemy, is the MoMA curator, who shepherds you to your studio and bids you make work for her show. She is the arbiter of quality, deciding which pieces are fit for the public and which you might as well trash. So get to work!

The art-making process is modeled after three different classic video games. Sassoon makes his minimalist paintings through Snake, while Tertanov uses Tetris to build her structures. Edge and Needle play Space War (you’ll need two players, or to be very ambidextrous, to make their work). The artworks are completed when you lose the game. I found Tertanov’s process to be the most rewarding — it’s possible to create some interesting towers if you ignore Tetris’s basic strategies.

Sassoon’s studio
After completing several artworks, players will have to maneuver their…